February/March 2013 Vol. 39 No. 3 Published by
Senior Services of Snohomish County
Feature Articles… Too old to hire, too young to retire? Nonsense!
Research shows older workers are a bargain By Teresa Ambord
Joanne Davis …
She went from downtrodden to confident
Tax filing guidelines & free tax preparation options
Closing the Medicare Part D doughnut hole Page 8
Seven tips for better life balance Page 19
There‘s danger in collecting too much ‘stuff ’ Page 5
Columns… BookNook....................................... 22 Elder Info......................................... 15 GetAways (Sr. Travel)..................... 12 Mr. Modem...................................... 24 Meal Times (Nutrition News)....... 20 Perspective on the Past................ 14 Pet Tails............................................ 23 Senior Spotlight............................... 6 Volunteer Connections................. 21 Where Are They Now?................... 22
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This tough economy has been hard on all of us, in many cases, even harder for older workers or job seekers. After decades of loyal work, when we get laid off and begin the job search for new employment, the results are less than encouraging. Age discrimination is illegal, but we all know illegal things happen every day. Beyond that, the facts just don’t support the common notions that older workers are most costly and less productive. In spite of popular notions, employers who want more for their money would often be wise to hire grandma and grandpa. Here are some of the false stereotypes that are associated with older workers. Older workers cost more in health care. Yes, age often brings
more health problems, and yes, older workers may take longer to recover from an illness or injury. However, research shows that, in general, older workers take fewer sick days. Many younger employees view paid sick days as extra vacation time to be taken at will. Older employees are far less likely to need dependent coverage. And once they become Medicare eligible at age 65, they may not need coverage at all. Older workers are less productive. One study revealed that older workers have greater interpersonal skills, making them more able to deal face-to-face with
customers as well as facilitating relationships with coworkers and superiors. As more and more conversations move online, younger generations are certainly adept at virtual communication and often less skilled at actual interaction. Older workers also get a job, learn it, and stick with it, whereas CONTINUED ON PAGE 11
The work of the people
It’s time to let your voice be heard By Jim Steinruck, CEO Senior Services of Snohomish County With the beginning of the new
Congress in the other Washington and our legislative sessions here in Olympia the work of the people is in full swing this month. And while the daily headlines, TV commentators, and online blogs may suggest it is all about the two parties besting each other; in fact that is the side show. The true “work of the people” involves thoughtful analysis of many competing needs and the passage of wise legislation to meet those needs. Never has this been truer than now with budget deficits at both the state and federal level. This is not a theoretical problem and the decisions made in Washington D.C. and Olympia during the coming months will directly impact the lives of Snohomish County residents.
Sign up today … The Senior Focus is published bi-monthly (February, April, June, August, October and December) as a community service by Senior Services of Snohomish County. We are committed to educating and entertaining readers with information that reflects the diverse interests and needs of the senior community. To receive the Senior Focus in the mail, phone 425.290.1277 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (please include “subscription” in the subject line). Donations to cover the costs associated with publishing and mailing the Senior Focus are welcome and appreciated.
Community based non-profit organizations rely on federal and state funds to ensure the frail and vulnerable in our community are able to access essential services. This is certainly true at Senior Services of Snohomish County; whether it is a ride to a medical appointment for a person with disabilities or home delivered meals for a homebound senior; government dollars form the greatest portion of our financial support. If government support is cut from programs that support those most in need – those most in need will be harmed. For example, the automatic spending cuts that would occur with se-
questration will eliminate 9,800 meals from Meals on Wheels and 85 older adults who currently receive meals would be cut from our Meals on Wheels program. That is the very real and stark reality we face in Snohomish County. Unfortunately, with many interests competing for time on the legislative docket, those without power or influence can be shut out of the conversation and their voice never heard. To avoid this outcome, Senior Services is working in collaboration with the Snohomish County Council on Aging and United Way of Snohomish County to make CONTINUED ON PAGE 3
Senior Services has moved Senior Information and Assistance. Family Caregiver program, Mental Health services, Multicultural services,Victims of Crime Assistance, SHIBA, Senior Nutrition, Minor Home Repair, Senior Focus Newspaper and SSSC administrative offices are located at:
11627 Airport Rd., Suite B, Everett 98204 (One block west of Highway 99 on Airport Rd)
Dial-A-Ride Transportation (DART), Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) and SnoTrac are located at:
11323 Commando Rd. W., Suite 215, Everett 98204 Phone numbers did not change. See page 11 for listing.
February/March, 2013 Senior Focus
United Way announces legislative priorities With the start of the 2013 state legislative session, United Way of Snohomish County announced its legislative priorities with a focus on early learning, hunger, homelessness and seniors. “Our legislature is facing a difficult session, and we continue to be concerned about how potential budget cuts will affect Snohomish County,” said Dennis G. Smith, president and CEO of United Way of Snohomish County. “Now is the time to maintain the critical investments that our state has already made in these key areas.” Locally, United Way “focuses on the building blocks of a good life: successful kids, financially stable families and healthy communities,” said Katrina Ondracek, vice president of Public Policy & Community Initiatives. “It’s no surprise that our volunteers chose to focus on early learning, hunger, homelessness and seniors for this legislative session.” Ondracek will be in Olympia
two days a week during the legislative session meeting with legislators, attending hearings and working with a broad range of advocates to raise awareness around these and other key issues. For more information and updates on these and other issues related to United Way’s advocacy efforts, visit uwsc.org/advocate. php. United Way’s priorities and areas of concern for the 2013 legislative session are as follows: Support for Seniors Maintain funding to support senior information & assistance, transportation and caregiver support. By 2030, almost 200,000 Snohomish County residents will be over age 65. This represents 20% of our population. Adequate support systems need to be in place to address the wellness, care and independence of seniors. Many people desire to “age in place,” and need services to maintain
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their health and their home. Programs that empower, connect and provide advocacy for seniors are important to individuals and families. Food Insecurity Preserve food programs that keep children and adults from going hungry and being malnourished. Food is a basic need that should be accessible to all. Hunger and poor nutrition leads to low productivity and lifetime health consequences. Over the past three years, 75,000 new households joined the ranks of the hungry, and the rate of hunger in the state is the highest it has ever been. Currently Washington state ranks 14th in hunger.
Quality Early Learning Provide funding to support opportunities that ensure children are ready to succeed in school and life. From infancy through high school, children’s educational outcomes are dependent on the quality of their learning experiences. Quality early learning, in particular, has been shown to have a significant positive effect on future life and academic success. However, for many families, the demand for early care not only exceeds the available supply, but also costs more than they can afford. United Way is a community impact organization serving Snohomish County for over 70 years. The agency currently funds 102 programs through 39 agencies with a special focus on health and human services. Senior Services of Snohomish County receives funding for Nutrition Services (home delivered and congregate meals), Transportation Assistance Program, Family Caregiver Resource Program, Information and Assistance, and the Multicultural Senior Center.
Housing & Homelessness Maintain funding to support affordable housing and options that move people out of homelessness. Housing is a basic foundation for self-sufficiency, but on an average night, over 2,300 people are homeless in Snohomish County. There are many barriers faced by homeless individuals. The demand for safe, suitable and affordable housing has far outpaced the Senior Information and Assistance supply. The complex set of needs Ad#:0001799576-01 Date:11/05/12 Day:MON faced by many homeless people Answers Questions – Explores Options Cust:GARDEN leaves Size:2X5 far too many residents COURT RETIREMENT 425.513.1900 with inadequate housing options Salesperson:KRISTINE NIEM Last Edited By:BKELTON or access to some of life’s mostRETAIL baPub:HERALD Tag Line: Color www.sssc.org 800.422.2024 sic household and sanitary needs. Info:3COLORFULL
Maybe it IS time! If you are tired of listening to your adult children telling you to “get a life” – Maybe it IS time! If your day is consumed with yard work, cooking and cleaning – Maybe it IS time! If you miss the enjoyment of a lively dinner conversation, going places and doing things – Maybe it IS time! If you look forward to great food and elegant dining – (even room service) – Maybe it IS time!
Published bi-monthly with a readership of 38,000+, the Senior Focus educates and entertains readers (seniors, family caregivers, service providers and other interested persons) with news and
You know what – the best gift you can give your children IS a happy and fulfilled YOU!
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425 438-9080 0001799576-01
Published by Senior Services of Snohomish County 11627 Airport Rd., Suite B Everett WA 98204-8714 Editor Sharon Ostant 425.290.1277 Advertising Account Manager Dale Bohm 425.263.1868
information that reflects the diverse interests and needs of the senior community. Signed articles are the opinion of the writer and not necessarily the opinion of Senior Services or the Senior Focus. Distribution: 20,000 papers are mailed to households and senior-friendly businesses in Snohomish, North King and Island and counties; 3,500 papers are distributed at drop-off locations including senior centers, retirement communities, hospitals, medical clinics, etc. Advertising: The existence of advertising in this publication is not meant as an endorsement of the product, service or individual by anyone except the advertiser. Associate member of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association
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Senior Focus February/March, 2013
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sure the needs of seniors and people with disabilities are understood. To ensure our legislators understand the impact their votes will have on the health and well-being of our community, Senior Services will participate in Senior Lobby Day on Thursday, February 21, in Olympia. United Ways from across the state, will hold their Lobby Day on Thursday, February 7. On the state level, Senior Services is asking for full funding of the Senior Citizen’s Services Act (SCSA), full support for unpaid family caregivers, and full support for geriatric mental health services. On the federal level, Senior Services is advocating for the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act. This legislation is the major vehicle for social and nutritional services for older adults. The agency is also advocating for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), com-
monly referred to as food stamps. SNAP benefits are critically important for low income older adults. In recent years SNAP has achieved impressive results in meeting the needs of low-income Americans while maintaining strong program integrity and payment accuracy. The services provided by the non-profit organizations in our community are impressive. In 2012, Senior Services operated 743 apartments for low income seniors; provided 222,782 nutritious meals; and 423,052 rides for seniors and people with disabilities. You and your government make this work possible. Thank you for your support and voice as we continue to promote independence and improve the quality of life for older adults and people with disabilities in Snohomish County. To learn more and be a champion for change, visit the following websites: United Way, uwsc.org/ advocate.php; the Senior Lobby, WaSeniorLobby.org, and Senior Services, sssc.org.
It’s important tovoice your opinion Elected officials need to know what their constituents think and now it’s even more important then ever. This session, which runs through April 28, the State Legislature will grapple with a significan budget shortfall as they prepare for a two-year spending plan that begins July 1. As our legislators looks at ways to address the shortfall, including cutting or eliminating programs and services, it is important that all citizens keep track of what’s happening. Two easy ways to voice your opinion are to call or write. See State Legislature list on this page. You can also send a message to your senator or representative by calling the legislative hotline: 800-562-6000. During the legislative session, the hotline is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Callers to the hotline can leave a brief message on issues of concern and it will be forwarded to the appropriate legislator(s). Call-
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ers can also obtain information on pending legislation. When calling the hotline, be prepared to give your name and address. Regardless of how you choose to share your thoughts, be calm, reasonable, respectful and politely firm. Following are other tips to consider. These tips can be applied when contacting any elected official, whether it be federal, local, county or city.
Legislators are often away from their office so expect to leave a brief message with a legislative aide or assistant. When leaving a message, make sure he/she knows who you are (i.e. give your name, address and phone number). Identify the bill you wish to talk about by name and, if possible, number. Ask for his/her stance on the bill or issue you are calling about. Briefly state your position and know that it is acceptable to ask for a commitment to vote for your position.
State Legislature contact information Following are the phone numbers and mailing addresses for Snohomish County’s State Legislators. The e-mail address for state legislators is first name.last firstname.lastname@example.org (i.e. email@example.com). If you are unsure of your Legislative District, contact the Snohomish County Auditor’s office at 425-388-3444 or visit leg.wa.gov. 1st Legislative District Sen Rosemary McAuliffe (D), 360-786-7600; PO Box 40401, Olympia 98504 Rep Derek Stanford (D), 360-786-7928; PO Box 40600, Olympia 98504 Rep Luis Moscoso (D), 360-786-7900; PO Box 40600, Olympia 98504 10th Legislative District Sen Barbara Bailey (R), 360-786-7618; PO Box 40410, Olympia 98504 Rep Norma Smith (R), 360-786-7884; PO Box 40600, Olympia 98504 Rep Dave Hayes (R), 360-786-7914; PO Box 40600, Olympia 98504 21st Legislative District Sen Paull Shin (D), 360-786-7640; PO Box 40421, Olympia 98504 Rep Mary Helen Roberts (D), 360-786-7950; PO Box 40600, Olympia 98504 Rep Marko Liias (D), 360-786-7972; PO Box 40600, Olympia 98504 32nd Legislative District Sen Maralyn Chase (D), 360-786-7662; PO Box 40432, Olympia 98504 Rep Cindy Ryu (D), 360-786-7880; PO Box 40600, Olympia 98504 Rep Ruth Kagi (D), 360-786-7910; PO Box 40600, Olympia 98504 38th Legislative District Sen Nick Harper (D), 360-786-7674; PO Box 40438, Olympia 98504 Rep John McCoy (D), 360-786-7864; PO Box 40600, Olympia 98504 Rep Mike Sells (D), 360-786-7840; PO Box 40600, Olympia 98504 39th Legislative District Sen Kirk Pearson (R), 360-786-7676; PO Box 40439, Olympia 98504 Rep Dan Kristiansen (R), 360-786-7967; PO Box 40600, Olympia 98504 Rep Elizabeth Scott (R), 360-786-7816; PO Box 40600, Olympia 98504 44th Legislative District Sen Steve Hobbs (D), 360-786-7686; PO Box 40444, Olympia 98504 Rep Hans Dunshee (D), 360-786-7804; PO Box 40600, Olympia 98504 Rep Mike Hope (R), 360-786-7892; PO Box 40600, Olympia 98504 is an efficient ways to reach your legislator. If you prefer to mail a letter, allow enough time for it to reach your legislator before commitments on issues have been made. Be brief and to the point. Write on one subject and refer to the bill by name and number. Limit your letter to a single page; the shorter your message, the more likely he/she will read it personally.
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Personalize your communication by telling, in your own words, how the legislation will affect you and/or others you know and respectfully ask for a specific action or support. Sign your letter with your name and address so that he/she knows if you are a constituent. Also include your phone number. No matter how you contact your legislator, express appreciation to him/her for considering your view.
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February/March, 2013 Senior Focus
Hoarding… helpstarts with a phone call By Teri Baker Even in the beginning stages, hoarders require professional assistance to move toward a less stressful and safer living environment. If they could do it on their own, they would. “Some people do accept help and make healthier changes,” says professional organizer Denise Allan. “I think it’s difficult for them, and I commend them for that.” Allan, owner and founder of Bothell-based Simplify with Denise, LLC, is a Certified Professional Organizer whose extensive training makes her the only CPO in the Pacific Northwest with board certification in chronic disorganization. She has seen the worst of the worst in her own business and in her participation in the first three seasons of A&E television’s “Hoarders.” Uncomfortable with the word hoarding, Allan prefers the more gentle term excessive acquisition. “I offer non-judgmental support,
confidentiality and accountability,” she says. “I avoid negative emotions such as loss, guilt and shame and instead try to engender hope and confidence that people can change.” Empathy and understanding what clients are comfortable with are crucial. “It’s hard to let a stranger into your home when you have all these things people tell you that you shouldn’t have,” she says. “I understand that they see their possessions as if they are children, family or friends – which you would never throw away.” She knows that to hoarders, losing memorabilia equates to losing memories so they treat everything as part of themselves; that perfectionists can’t make decisions about how to get rid of clutter; and that depression often accompanies hoarding. While her training provides a deeper understanding of the mental issues involved, Allan says she does not wear the hat of a therapist. She does get referrals from
Adult Protective Services, therapists and psychiatrists and refers clients open to therapy to mental health professionals. “I bring a different energy,” Allan says.“Social organizing is more pleasant. I develop a relationship with the people. I try to get to know their family and friends and help them be more tolerant and compassionate.” Once allowed into the home, Allan does a 60-75 minute assessment. “We strategize how best to get them to the point of organization they are comfortable with,” she says. “I don’t judge, even if I have to crawl into spaces that are cluttered and crawling with vermin.” Allan observes whether hallways are cluttered, closets are full to the brim or items remain in the house or spill into the yard. She checks for infestations and signs of water damage and looks to see if there are intact file cabinets and drawers that could be used to tame chaos. She asks questions
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to determine if clients are able to make decisions and can articulate why they collect so much stuff. Because hoarders have low insight into the severity of the situation, she takes photos from several different angles so the client has more than a single view. Before she begins to actually work, Allan makes a contract with the client. For example, “Kitchen counters don’t have to be clean because that’s who they are,” she says. “But you have to set boundaries regarding safety. The stove has to always be clear and there can be no papers on counters near the stove.” With the contract in place, Allan works on boundaries “to allow for life to happen.” To set limits on how much space stuff will occupy, she might ask, “How many items will benefit you? There are two shelves here where you can put things you might need again.” How long the process takes depends on the level of hoarding. Severe cases can take months. Of lower level hoarders, Allan, who works in three-hour increments, says, “They may need help with a closet and a bedroom. A session or two can be a springboard for the rest of the house. ” Allan is proud of those who recognize they need emotional support. She mentions a client who once lived in clutter and without heat. “I got a card from her,” Allan says. “Her whole house had been redone. The photos of the living room were just stunning.” Whether you contact Allan’s company or another resource for help for hoarders, Allan says it’s well worth it. “The hardest is that first call,” she says, “but it can make such a huge change for you. Your home should rekindle, not zap, your energy.”
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Senior Focus February/March, 2013
Hoarding… there’s danger in collectingtoomuch‘stuff’ By Teri Baker Alice doesn’t allow anyone, even her own children and grandchildren, into her home. She doesn’t want her daughter moving newspapers off the stove or her son trying to fix the rotting floor under her broken toilet. Bill can hardly get into his house because it’s stuffed floor to rafters with hubcaps, clothes, carpet scraps, jars of pickles and dozens of shopping bags loaded with broken pens. His family can’t talk him into getting rid of as much as a paper clip. Like an estimated six million Americans with hoarding issues, neither Bill nor Alice believe they have a problem. “Hoarders acquire an excessive amount of items others would not deem valuable,” says Kamilia Dunsky, mental health program manager for Senior Services. “It’s challenging because you may know that dealing with the issue will give them a better quality of life, but they don’t have any insight and don’t think they have a problem.” What people hoard doesn’t make sense to others, but somehow it does to them. Hoarding is not clutter, poor housekeeping or collecting lots of stuff. Hoarding is acquiring more items than there is space for and an inability to get rid of things. Most commonly hoarded are newspapers, magazines, mail, notes, lists, old clothing and plastic bags and containers. Rooms overflow with yarn, toys, broken electronics, rocks, rusty nails or other items. Legal documents, tax information, license and insurance renewals, health records, etc. become buried in floor to ceiling stacks of paper. How bad can it get? Levels of hoarding go from having minor plumbing or electrical problems with some congestion in entrances and hallways to the worst stage where key living spaces are unusable; entrances, hallways and stairs are blocked; toi-
lets, sinks and tubs don’t function; appliances don’t work or are too covered to use; urine and excrement are present; there is pervasive mold or mildew, moisture or standing water; medications are left where anyone can get them. This level requires full hazmat gear to clean up. “They never intended to live that way, but self-help attempts have failed,” says board-certified professional organizer Denise Allan. “It’s heart wrenching.” It’s also dangerous. Crowded hallways can lead to injuries from tripping and falling, especially in seniors whose balance may already be compromised. Emergency personnel can’t get through the house. Flammable materials in front of heaters and/or a stockpile of combustibles can create fast spreading fires. There are also grave health risks. The bathroom becomes a storage unit so hoarders give up hygiene. Broken plumbing and standing water can lead to toxic mold. Rotting food brings in mice, rats, raccoons and bats. Decomposed animal urine and feces give off ammonia harmful to human tissue. Hoarders are not the only ones affected. Danger is carried through air vents in condos and apartment houses. Fire can spread from house to house. One of the most egregious forms of obsessive acquisition is animal hoarding. With the mindset that they are the only ones who can love and care for animals, hoarders collect large numbers of pets, yet do not or cannot provide nutrition or take them to the vet. They don’t see the feces or even the carcasses. Because the pets are unaltered, numerous litters are born into this cruelty. Why do people hoard? “Hoarding is not a tough love issue,” Dunsky says. According to the National Institute of Health, “certain brain regions underactivate in people with hoarding disorder when dealing with possessions, but over-activate when
deciding to keep or discard their own things.” While clinical depression does not cause hoarding, research indicates that 50 percent of hoarders are depressed. Attention Deficit Disorder can keep hoarders distracted. Abandonment and abuse issues can make people emotionally attached to things rather than people. Other factors can compound the problem. “Something is broken in people with compulsive acquisition,” Allan says, adding that, “sometimes no one ever spoke the rules to them or someone always cleaned their rooms for them and they don’t know how to do it. They may have poor learning skills or they may be ill and feel as if they’re losing control.” People whose parents lived through the Great Depression may have been taught to never throw anything away because they might need it someday. Fear of discarding the “wrong” thing leaves them paralyzed with indecision. What’s being done? The Hoarding Taskforce of Snohomish County was formed five years ago to coordinate the resources of community agencies to respond to residential hoarding when it threatens life, safety and
property. Amanda Morey of Senior Services’ Older Adult Mental Health Access Program serves as coordinator of the task force, which includes: code enforcement officers, who often get the first complaints; social service providers; Adult Protective Services (APS); cities; housing authorities and the Snohomish Health District. Morey says one reason for the taskforce is that APS has less power than most people think. Friends and relatives desperate to get help for loved ones assume APS can just take over the situation. However, while APS can assess whether people are cognitively impaired, it must prove that the individual is unable to make decisions before it can take action. Currently, there is no mental health definition for hoarding, but one is expected this year from the American Psychiatric Association. “It’s good that hoarding will be included in the diagnostic manual so we can have an actual diagnosis,” Dunsky says. “Not only does it increase public awareness, it stimulates research and impacts what kinds of treatments are funded.” For information about hoarding and/or the task force, contact Morey, 425-290-1260.
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February/March, 2013 Senior Focus
She went from downtrodden to confident Senior Spotlight Someone We’d Like You to Meet …
By Teri Baker Joanne Davis absolutely insists on leading an interesting life. In the past 20 years, the Lynnwood woman, 73, has deliberately crammed a lot of hard work and just plain fun into her once miserable existence, taking every opportunity she can to learn and grow. She has gone through the Citizens Academy training at both the Lynnwood and Mukilteo police departments, soared 4,700 feet above the earth in a hot air balloon and entertained thousands. She is perhaps best known for her music. During the summers, she sings, plays guitar and tells stories at Open Mike Night at the Red Cup Café in Mukilteo. In December she was invited to perform at the Mukilteo Tree Lighting. When the days get a little longer, she’ll resume her weekly gig at the Cabin Tavern in Richmond Beach. Meanwhile, she performs every Sunday at various venues in Snohomish and north King Counties. And, she recently made a CD of songs and lyrics she has written. Performance isn’t Joanne’s only
art. She pursues writing with the Mukilteo Arts Guild and often regales friends with her poetry. She is also involved in charitable endeavors, including working with the Mukilteo Lions Club and participating in numerous walks, runs and dashes, and performing at various fundraising events. Life was not always so interesting for Joanne, who has mixed memories of her childhood. Born in Seattle to alcoholic parents, she and her younger brother saw little of their father, a tugboat skipper. Her mother never stood up for herself, and Joanne, following her example, was bullied in school. On the brighter side, the family lived directly across the street from the Playland amusement park. “We could see the roller coaster from our front porch,” Joanne says. “I worked three summers there.” Other happy memories involve music. When Joanne was nine, she inherited a piano from her grandmother. She says, “I took lessons for five years and learned in spite of myself.” When her mother brought home a 40-button accordion, Joanne learned to play that, too. Music was Joanne’s salvation at Edmonds High School, where she sang in the choir. The highlight of her teen years was seeing Elvis Presley in person. “The first time he swiveled himself on TV
on the Ed Sullivan Show, I was totally captivated,” says Joanne, whose apartment is filled with Elvis memorabilia. “I loved his voice and his generosity and I even perform some of his songs.” Joanne married right after graduation. “I learned to cook and keep house and did fine,” she says. “We had two daughters, and I worked part time off and on because I didn’t want to leave my girls with a babysitter. I also canned fruit, sewed all their clothes and did all the yard work.” When her husband brought home a $13 guitar, Joanne bought lesson books and taught herself to play. Music would again provide solace. After 19 years of marriage, her husband announced he had found another woman and walked out. He never paid a dime of child support for the girls, who were 11 and 12 when he left. Joanne got a job at Sears and was able to take over the payments on an old house in downtown Everett. Money was tight, and she had to give up the house after a couple of years. To survive, she worked in a machine shop checking tools in and out and keeping track of time cards. A few years later, her children grown, she met her second husband. “I had low esteem, was terribly naïve and hated the person I was,” she muses. “He was much
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older, and I thought he would provide stability.” She couldn’t have been more wrong. He moved her to a farm in Oak Harbor, where for several years she took care of his embittered aunt, an amputee, until her death. “My husband was extremely abusive,” Joanne says. “I was only allowed to leave to go grocery shopping for two hours on Friday morning. I lived like a prisoner. When he threatened my life, I felt not only afraid, but as if I had no value.” Joanne managed to have one friend, a woman who guessed what was happening and told her that if she needed to get out, she could come to her. Joanne’s self esteem was so low, she dared not believe she could escape. That changed July 24, 1992, the day her husband nearly killed her. “All that fear for all those years turned to rage,” she says. “I went against everything I had learned or lived with, and I fought back. It was like someone took over and a new person came out of me.” Stunned, her drunken husband screamed curses, ordered her to leave and stumbled into the bedroom. Joanne piled her records, books, musical instruments and what few clothes she had into a van, withdrew the pittance she had in the bank and fled to her friend’s house, where she stayed for four fearful months. “I was hungry, but too nervous to eat,” she recalls. “I couldn’t sleep. I was afraid he would come after me.” Desperate, Joanne, who knew nothing about shelters then, caught a ferry, came to Everett and checked into a motel, where she worked as a maid. She rented
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Senior Focus February/March, 2013 Sunday. She also did some traveling. Entranced by the movie Crocodile CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 Dundee, Joanne bought a book an apartment in Lynnwood and about Australia, dipped into her got a job in retail and another as a savings, took advantage of a famagazine and book distributor. vorable exchange rate and went After 18 months of this ex- on her own to that country. Twice. hausting schedule, she found tem- She overcame her fear of water porary work building displays for and toured the Great Barrier a fitness equipment company in Reef in a semi-submersible boat. Bothell. She then talked her way She still wears a leather hat from into a fulltime job there with ben- Tasmania purchased with an Elefits, including medical insurance, vis Presley Visa card. Her other retirement and profit sharing. favorite trip? Elvis’ home, Grace She had a two-hour commute land. and stood 10 hours a day working Joanne retired from the ason a fast moving assembly line, sembly line in 2005 at age 65 and but she persevered. “It required immediately went to work as a extreme discipline,” she says, “but fitness technician at Curves in I was there eight and a half years Mukilteo. A few months later she with perfect attendance.” was diagnosed with Non-Hodg During the years since escaping kin’s lymphoma. her husband’s tyranny, Joanne “I have to credit my primary determined to improve herself and care doctor for saving my life,” keep her life interesting. “I knew she says. “I went in for a cough, I had to get involved in something and he ordered an x-ray. They positive,” she says. “I went to a found a four-inch tumor behind Toastmasters meeting and saw my breastbone and a chest full of people give speeches. I thought, ‘I cancer. I was terrified.” can’t do that.’” Determined to face her fear, Still, the discipline of learning Joanne continued to work at to start and end speeches on time Curves, perform at the Red Cup appealed to her so she joined the and contribute to her writers club. group. She also kept a journal of Her first speech was supposed her own treatment procedures, to be about herself. Unready to from the port in her chest to delay open her life to others, she liver the drugs to losing her hair spoke about three famous speak- by the handful. ers instead. Among her many sub- “The experience was very intersequent speeches was one on the esting,” she reports. “To my surS1L-halverson5x8.qxp 1/4/12 11:34 AM Page 1 history of country music, which prise I was never really sick, and she enhanced by singing and play- one day I walked out of a treating guitar. During her five years ment knowing I’d be okay. in Toastmasters, she held every Her experience with chemoclub office and gained the confi- therapy and radiation at Stevens dence to perform on stage. “Security One Lending has theHospital led her to volunteer She found a home in the Old there. For the past six years she qualityAssociaservice andhas worked three days a week at Time experience, & Country Music tion, where she says she always reputation to provide you withthe theinformation desk in the third feels welcome and has a great floor lobby. She also escorts pabest financial solution for your needs” time. “I learned so much I start- tients, delivers flowers and the ed playing backup,” she says. “I mail and runs errands. “I like started doing jams around town all that,” she says. “It gives me a and now I have a music gig every chance to see new people, and I Security One Lending Spokesperson
Music has always been an important part of Joanne Davis’ life and she enjoys performing at various venues in King and Snohomish counties.
feel appreciated.” Joanne makes others feel appreciated by treating them well and doing what she can for them. Her curly hair grew back, long and luxurious. In December she donated the lion’s share of it to Locks of Love for use in wigs for cancer patients. While she often says, “I have nobody to please but
myself,” part of her pleasure is making others’ lives better. She admits that she wouldn’t mind being spoiled a little and that she would “love to be adored by a man.” Even if that never happens, Joanne will do what she always does. She’ll keep her life interesting.
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February/March, 2013 Senior Focus
The end is in sight…
Closingthe Medicare Part Ddoughnut hole By Ron Pollack The meaning of the 2012 election results will probably be debated for months, if not years. But a few things are clear. Nearly everyone agrees that President Obama’s reelection means that the Affordable Care Act – the 2010 health care law sometimes called ObamaCare – will stay in place. And for people with Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, especially those who use a lot of prescription drugs, that’s good news. When the Medicare prescription drug program (Part D) was created in 2003, it included a large gap in coverage that’s known as the “doughnut hole.” After beneficiaries reached an “initial limit” of total drug expenses ($2,930 in 2012), they had no prescription drug coverage until they got to the other side of the doughnut hole – by spending $3,700 more out of their own pockets – and reached the “catastrophic limit” for the year. The doughnut hole meant that nearly four million beneficiaries with significant prescription drug costs – the people who need help the most – had to pay the full cost for their medications for months at a time. Many had to choose be-
tween buying their medications and buying groceries. Others resorted to skipping doses or splitting pills. What’s more, the problem was going to get worse: The gap was going to grow to more than $6,000 by the year 2020. The doughnut hole never made any sense as a matter of health insurance. Why would coverage stop when you needed it the most? But until the health care law was passed, nobody had done anything about it. Now, the doughnut hole is being gradually filled in. In 2012, people who entered the gap received a 50 percent discount on name-brand drugs and a 14 percent discount on generics. In 2013, those discounts increase to 52.5 percent on name-brand drugs and 21 percent on generics. The discounts will increase each year until 2020, when the gap will be completely filled. This change is making a positive difference in people’s lives. According to the agency that runs Medicare, since the law took effect, about 5.8 million people with Medicare have gotten help with their drug costs. The total value of the help is now $5.1 billion. That’s money that stayed in seniors’ pockets rather than being spent at the
pharmacy. As of the end of October 2012, the average savings was $677 a person. That’s a lot of groceries – or presents for the grandkids. There’s also some encouraging research confirming what a lot of us intuitively sense: that making prescription drugs more affordable saves money down the road by keeping people healthier. When people with diabetes get their insulin regularly, for example, they’re more likely to stay out of the hospital. Of course this is great for them; no one likes going to the hospital. But it’s good for all of us, because hospital care is expensive, and keeping people healthy and out of the hospital is one of the most obvious ways of bringing health care costs under control. Recently, the Congressional Budget Office – the green eyeshade folks who keep track of the cost of everything the government does – concluded that making prescription drugs in Medicare more affordable does, in fact, save some money later on by reducing things like hospital admissions. As a result, filling in the doughnut hole is going to cost about 40 percent less than was previously forecast. At a time of tight budgets, that’s great
news for all of us. Of course, there are things you can do to help keep your own prescription drug costs down. You should make sure you’re getting the most from your prescription drug coverage. Many plans have preferred pharmacies and mail order services that can get you better prices. Ask your doctor and pharmacist about whether generics are available for any of your name-brand medications, and take the generics whenever possible. Also, if you have limited income and financial resources, you might qualify for the Extra Help program that’s run through Social Security. For information, visit Social Security at socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp or call 1-800-MEDICARE. Some states also have their own programs to help people with high drug costs. As 2013 starts, between the fiscal mess in Washington and everything going on in our own lives, we’ve all got a list of things to be concerned about. But it’s good to know that the Part D prescription drug doughnut hole is soon going to fall off that list of concerns. Ron Pollack is the Executive Director of Families USA.
Note: If you have questions about Medicare and/or health care coverage, including prescription drug coverage, call the SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors) HelpLine, 425-290-1276.
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Senior Focus February/March, 2013
enior Services would like to recognize and celebrate the kindness and generosity of individuals, organizations and businesses in the community who continue to make a difference in the lives of people they may never know. Throughout the year, this new Applause Section in the Senior Focus will highlight many of our community partners.
Each year Mukilteo Quilters donate dozens of handmade quilts that bring warmth and cheer into the lives of so many seniors. “It warms our hearts to know how much joy our quilts bring to the seniors in our community," says Carol Peters, Chairman of the Comfort Quilt Committee. Pictured above (L to R) is Peters and Senior Services Nutrition staff Patty Sterling, Martha Peppones, and Maureen Britt..
We thank Total Outdoor for its generous donation of three billboards. Next time you drive by Harvey Field in Snohomish, Beverly Park Road in South Everett, and the corner of 164th St. S.W. and Ash Way in Lynnwood, take a moment to look at Senior Services billboards. Total Outdoor has made it possible to reach out to those who need our services with We Can Help and those who can help support services with You Can Help. The billboards highlight our website (sssc.org) so you can access services or make a donation.
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Boeing employees open their hearts and their wallets each year through the Spirit of the Holidays gift program. This year, 200 seniors received a $50 gift card. One recipient’s thank you note expressed what these cards mean to seniors on limited incomes. “I was feeling so bad because I couldn’t provide a holiday dinner for my children and grandchildren like I used to. This gift card help me fee like I was doing my part again.” Thank you Boeing Employees.
Each year, Senior Services staff and volunteers prepare and deliver a hot Thanksgiving dinner to more than 150 seniors in our community. It’s a great way to brighten the holidays for seniors who are alone or cannot prepare a meal with all the trimmings. A special thank you goes to the 85 volunteers who gave their time on Thanksgiving morning to deliver meals and friendship. Phyllis Berglund (left); Pam Olah and Carolyn Weikel (upper right) and Jim Britt (lower right) are a few of the volunteers who helped.
Senior Services of Snohomish County 11627 Airport Rd., Suite B., Everett 425.355.1112 www.sssc.org
10 February/March, 2013 Senior Focus
Elderly suffer as financial abuse grows By Cheryl M. Keyser There are many forms of abuse but one of the most prevalent and hardest to stop, especially in these days of intrusive technology, is financial abuse. Most older adults have limited resources, with the majority living on $22,000 a year or less in Social Security income. But there are always those who prey even on people who are not well off. Financial abuse involving older adults has been called the “crime of the 21st century.” According to a MetLife Mature Market Institute study, older women were twice as likely as older men to suffer financial abuse, especially those over 80 years of age. The annual financial loss, as of 2009, was estimated to be close to $3 billion. A survey conducted by the Investor Protection Trust found that “one out of every five citizens over the age of 65” has been a victim of a financial scam and the problem is only getting worse. Paul R. Greenwood, Deputy District Attorney in San Diego and head of the Elder Abuse Pros-
ecution Unit, noted that “at least 65 percent of my prosecutions involve some form of financial exploitation.” And he told the Senate Aging Committee about some of the most brazen cases. In one instance, a convicted felon, Victoria Gilbert, found a job as a caregiver to a widower with physical and mental disabilities. She convinced this gentleman to let her and her boyfriend, who she described as a Deputy U.S. Marshall, move in with him. In due course, they withdrew all the money out of his bank account, maxed out his credit cards, and stole his medications. It was not until a bank teller noticed the unusual activity on his account and notified the gentleman’s adult children, that the couple were arrested and ultimately convicted. In another case, a 79-year-old widow hired William Pitre, who left a flyer under her car windshield, to do some work around home. Pitre called himself “a licensed Christian contractor.” When he finished the work, some of which was left undone, he demanded an excessive amount of
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lem. A recently issued Government Accountability Office (GAO) report noted, however, that there are still many obstacles facing agencies which are trying to curtail financial exploitation. These can include creating more safeguards to protect individuals from unscrupulous legal agents, financial services providers, and in-home caregivers; better training and coordination with banks who may not recognize a problem or do not know where to report it; and closer cooperation among all agencies which work with older adult.
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money. Afraid to deal with him, the widow let him write out the check. Leaving behind some workmen to intimidate her, Pitre took it to the bank and demanded the money in cash. The bank teller was suspicious and called the woman who was so fearful that she confirmed the payment by phone. Still uncertain, a bank official then contacted Adult Protective Services who called law enforcement. Pitre was captured and convicted. The litany of tales and the inventiveness of the criminals goes on and on. Slowly, law enforcement is catching up with the prob-
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One of the latest federal initiatives is the development of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office for Older Americans. This “is the only federal office specifically dedicated to the financial health of Americans age 62 and older,” said Hubert H. Humphrey, the assistant director. This bureau operates under a congressional mandate to work with federal and state agencies to develop and implement ways to protect older adults from exploitation and to work with community and non-profit organizations to educate older adults on how to protect themselves. Among its activities are drawing up state and generic guides on such things as: what a fiduciary does, how to keep records, limitations on commingling funds, and other areas where financial abuse may arise. Plans call for these guides to be published in 2013. A similar national guide also to be published in 2013 is designed to protect those living in senior housing, assisted living, and skilled nursing facilities and a new program, Money Smart for
Older Adults, being set up in cooperation with the FDIC (the federal agency which insures bank deposits) will include an educational program to prevent, recognize, and report financial crimes. The private sector is also becoming involved in this issue. The Financial Services Roundtable, which represents 100 of the major financial services companies, is working on programs to aid older adults who may suffer financial exploitation. However, said Paul Smocer on behalf of the Roundtable, “the most frequent perpetrators of financial abuse are family members,who by some estimates commit nearly 75 percent of crimes, and professional criminals.” The Roundtable has set up an Elder Working Group which is concentrating on two key projects: training financial institution staff in dealing with suspected abuse and becoming familiar with Adult Protective Services and, secondly, initiating a public awareness program for all financial institutions. Key to the work of the Roundtable is establishing how far a financial institution can go to identify and prevent fraud of older adults without violating age discrimination laws. Also to be determined is who authorizes a hold on an account if there is suspicion of fraud and how this reflects on the institution’s obligation to comply with a customer’s instructions. Also of concern is the misuse of a Power of Attorney, when a member of the bank staff suspects fraudulent activity but is limited in dealing with it under the terms of the legal document. Frank Abagnale, who committed fraud as a teenager now operates a business to prevent fraud, identity theft, and similar crimes. Although he maintains that he does not see government as the answer, he does believe it should prepare public service announcements. He maintains that it is up to each individual to be alert and if they are unable to do so, then their family and friends should assist. And he notes that “punishment for fraud and identity theft and recovery of stolen funds are so rare, prevention is the only viable course of action.”
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Senior Focus February/March, 2013 11
OLDER WORKERS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
younger workers often view a job as a short-term commitment until something else catches their attention. Peter Cappelli of the Wharton Center for Human Resources said, “The evidence is unbelievably huge. Basically older workers perform better on just about everything.” Some believe older workers should be let go in favor of younger employees that can be paid less. Big mistake. More experience, longer time on the job, general overall knowledge, all of these add up to greater productivity. According to Cappelli, these attributes more than justify a higher salary. Another study done at the Sloan Center on Aging & Work (Boston College) indicated that, in general, older workers do not lose interest in their work. Those who work past retirement age are shown to become more engaged and satisfied with their jobs over time. Older people resist learning new things. Certainly technology doesn’t come as easily to most older people, and younger individuals almost seem born with a knack for computers. But surveys show that for many employed seniors they put high priority on finding challenges in their work and they value learning new things. Some say older workers need to retire so that younger workers can have their jobs. Reality is, many older workers cannot afford to retire after the ravages of the stock market on their retirement funds and the lost value in their real estate holdings, not to mention the constant barrage of attacks on Social Security. More and more, as generations of families are forced to move in together, younger family mem-
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bers rely on Mom and Dad to put a roof over their heads. This puts more financial strain on the resources of the older generations. Not only do many older people need to work to keep body and soul together, but forced retirement is bad for a nation’s health. Professor Olivia S. Mitchell (Wharton School of Business) reports that in countries where retirement at a certain age is encouraged, the system falls apart. Retired individuals rely on the tax paid by younger workers. More retired people means more taxes required to pay the pension liabilities. Higher taxes translates to businesses keeping wages low and less hiring. Employees with lower wages spend less and save less, and economic growth is suffocated. There will always be voices that say younger is better. Don’t buy the lie. Baby boomers and those who preceded them are still the hardest working generations.
Meals on Wheels and Senior Dining ........425-347-1229 If long distance, call toll free . .....................800-824-2183
Social Services Senior Information and Assistance ...........425-513-1900 If long distance, call toll free . .....................800-422-2024 Family Caregiver Resource Program ....... 425-290-1240 Geriatric Depression Screening ..................425-740-3787 Multicultural Senior Center . .........................425-290-1275 Older Adult Mental Health Access . ...........425-290-1260 Senior Peer Counseling ..................................452-290-1252 Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors HelpLine (SHIBA) ..........................425-290-1276 Victims of Crime Assistance . ........................425-513-1900
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Buff up your resume By Teresa Ambord Before you send it off, pull out your resume and dust it off. Here are a few points to consider. When listing your experience, don’t go back more than 15 years, or leave off dates completely. Some applicants list every job they ever had, making the resume bulky and annoying. The last thing you want to do is annoy the person with hiring power. If you do have experience that you want to highlight but it is decades old, list it under “More experience,” and skip the dates. For education, if you went to college, don’t bother to list high school. If you didn’t go to college, be sure to mention that you are a high school graduate, but again, no dates. There’s no need to call attention to the fact that you graduated from high school before the hiring agent was born, which could well be the case. Target your resume to the job description. If your resume is on the computer, this should be a simple matter. Read the job description carefully, then highlight the experience you have that is pertinent. That can make your
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qualifications pop, and again, it could help you avoid annoying the hiring agent who otherwise would have to search for meaningful information. Show you are connected to the world of technology. Do you have a LinkedIn profile? If not, it’s a simple matter to set one up. It shows hiring agents you are engaged in technology. Just go to LinkedIn. com and follow the instructions. If you list your e-mail address as a means of contacting you, use a businesslike address, rather than one that sounds frivolous. If you generally use an address that is personal, like firstname.lastname@example.org, your grandkids may love it but a hiring agent is unlikely to take you seriously as a job candidate.
Be prepared to e-mail your resume. This is the way most hiring agents do business these days, and in the long run, it is easier and cheaper for you and them. – Senior Wire©
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The 100-voice Sno-King Community Chorale under the direction of Frank DeMiero PRESENTS
Les Misérables A Concert Version
Saturday, March 23 3:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Featured Soloists: Mike Bell Michael Denton Megan Jeffrey Ric Shallow Julie Waterman
Ruth Baril Allison Thomas James Drake Kelly Ajer Anthony Molinero
Kerry Johnsen Terry Iadanza Jad Kassouf Nancy Hamel-Routt Leslie Chandler
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Trinity Lutheran Church 6215 196th St. S.W., Lynnwood Tickets: 425-673-1242 www.sno-kingchorale.org
12 February/March, 2013 Senior Focus
Comforts in the forest primeval Get Aways Adventures in Travel
By Sam Lowe Laurelville, Ohio – Many years ago, an overworked but dedicated teacher in a one-room schoolhouse outside of Kensal, North Dakota, introduced her assortment of students to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s magnificent poem “Evangeline.” As a second-grader, I don’t remember much of it, but the first few lines have stayed with me over the years: “This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, bearded with moss, and in garments green... .” It’s a sad and, unfortunately, typical story. Evangeline was among the Acadians forcibly removed from their Canadian homeland. She and her boyfriend get separated. She spends the rest of the poem searching for him, then finds him. The words came rushing back as I wandered through the magnificence of the Hocking Hills State Park and surrounding region, a sort of tamed wilderness a few miles southeast of Columbus, the state’s capital city. This is America at its best. This is the forest primeval, saved from bulldozer and chain saw so visitors can see what the
country must have looked like when Evangeline crossed it in search of her true love. The region offers almost everything a nature lover could desire, from streams to waterfalls, from caves to hiking trails, from bird-watching to canoe trips. For those seeking more adventure than watching water cascade over a rock terrace, the area also features zip-lining, guided photo shoots, light-aircraft tours, hotair-balloon rides, and a wide variety of festivals. But Nature itself is still the main attraction. A prime example is Ash Cave, the largest recess cave east of the Mississippi River. It’s not a cave that goes hundreds of feet underground, however. Instead, it’s a horseshoe-shaped, 700foot indentation into a rock wall, large enough to hold symphonies, circuses, ballroom dances, rock bands, and volleyball competitions, should any of them choose to locate there. Even better, a 90-foot waterfall plummets over the upper edge of the cave and, as the sun’s rays filter their way through the tall trees, they bounce off the falling water to create abstract patterns on both rock and visitor. Hocking Hills is also a photographic experience of the highest order. While some of the waterfalls are hard to capture, even with today’s fancy cameras, oth-
ers are well-illuminated and easily recorded. The streams are the primo targets. The little rills are so tantalizing that photo bugs will utter repeated thanks to modern technology for the invention of digital cameras because the urge to shoot and shoot and shoot would amount to staggering processing fees if they were still using film.
Ash Cave in Hocking Hill State Park (Ohio), is the largest recess cave east of the Mississippi River. This 700-foot horseshoe-shaped indentation in the rock wall is large enough to hold circuses and symphonies. – Sam Lowe photo
Bird-watchers should find this place akin to Eden because the park includes aquatic habitats, heavily-forested lands, open grasslands and meadows,
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and mixed habitat. Although the numbers of species spotted here are hard to pin down, locals claim they have spotted hundreds of them. That figure can rise into the thousands after a few rounds in one of the quaint little taverns sequestered in several of the region’s small communities. For those who seek the unusual, Hocking Hills affords visits to a pencil-sharpener museum with its collection of more than 3,400 different plastic and metal pointmakers on display in a small building at the Hocking Hills Re-
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gional Welcome Center in Logan. It’s free. Also in Logan, the only remaining washboard manufacturer in the nation continues the tradition of cranking out washboards just like they did back in Grandpa’s time. The small factory conducts daily tours for a fee, and provides information about the annual Washboard Music Festival that’s held every June. It’s the only one of its kind, not just in the US of A, but the entire world. For something a bit more far out, the residents of New Straitsville sponsor and compete in the Moonshine Festival to honor their forebears who brewed up a few batches in Robinson’s Cave – another big one – during Prohibition. It’s held on Memorial Day weekend. For those whose days as reckless adventurers seem to have faded away due to aching knees and sore backs, zip-lining is a CONTINUED ON PAGE 13
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Senior Focus February/March, 2013 13
NewMedicare card There is a good possibility that new Medicare cards will be created – although this will not be immediate. Legislation has passed the House of Representatives which directs the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency which houses Medicare, to develop a new Medicare ID number. The impetus for this is the growing incidence of identity theft, as the Medicare number, at present, is the same as an individual’s Social Security number. The legislation, H.R. 1509, the Medicare Identity Theft Protec-
HOCKINGHILLS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12
good way to reclaim some of that old spirit. Hocking Hills Canopy Tours gives us beyond-middleagers a chance to get harnessed up and sail through the treetops on a steel cable. Canopy Tours was one of Discovery Channel’s picks for its 2011 list of “Ten Amazing Zipline Tours all Around the World.” The above-ground trip takes more than two hours and contains 10 different strapped-in plunges. Finding a place to stay in and around Hocking Hills is no problem. Besides the usual hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfasts, the area is stocked with more than 200 rental units of varying types. They range from simple two-room dwellings to some pretty ritzy lodges, including one that looks like a castle. For more information, visit 1800Hocking.com or phone 800462-5464. – Mature Life Features©
tion Act of 2012, also requires that Medicare find a cost-effective way to do this, a challenging problem as there are more than 50 million Medicare beneficiaries on the rolls. In passing this bill, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), Chairman of the Social Security Subcommittee of the Way and Means Committee, noted that “this commonsense bill is a vital step in protecting our nation’s seniors from identify theft.” For this legislation to become effective, it must past the U.S. Senate. At present it is being considered by that body’s Finance Committee. For further information, check the website for the House Ways and Means Committee at ways andmeans.house.gov.
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PJ sewing party Do you have sewing skills? The Snohomish CTAs (Clothing and Textile Advisors) is calling for volunteers to sew flannel pajamas for young children who are brought to Safe Place prior to being placed in Foster Care. The sewing party will be held Friday, February 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at McCollum Park, 600 128th St. S.E., Everett in the Evergreen classroom behind the WSU Extension Office. The pajamas are cut out and ready to sew. Just bring your sewing machine and basic sewing tools. Volunteers should bring a brown bag lunch and beverage. For information contact Carla Peery at 206-595-9717. Senior Information and Assistance Answers Questions – Explores Options
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14 February/March, 2013 Senior Focus
A major change is coming to Monte Cristo Perspective on the Past By David A. Cameron In several months the public will be excluded from the Monte Cristo area of eastern Snohomish County. If all goes according to current plan, that will continue for two more years. During this time, contractors for the U.S. Forest Service will work on public and private land to clean up hazardous waste materials left from mining, which occurred there from 1891 through 1897 and again from 1900 to 1907. Arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury, and other elements contaminated its water, air and soil. Although a century has elapsed to leach and dilute the strength of these naturally occurring pollutants, courts have ruled that removing and burying the remainder is required. Construction of a new access road from the Darrington side of the Mountain Loop Highway below Barlow Pass began before snow fall in October and will resume with the spring melt. Once that is complete, heavy machinery will move in and the process be-
gins. For its first three miles, portions of the new route will affect the original 1890s wagon road, built up the Sauk River from the Skagit and on past Darrington to the mines. For its final two miles (from the top of Hap’s Hill), it will utilize the existing county road. As the town lies at the tip of a peninsula, one or more temporary large culverts will be placed for crossing Glacier Creek into the major work sites. Taken up before the fall rainy seasons, these will be removed permanently when the project is completed. Directly affected will be all the major mines which produced ore and several which did not but whose wastes from drilling (tailings) also either touch creek waters or drain into them. Entrances will be permanently barred to keep out people and large animals, but not bats. There is great concern that the rapidly spreading and lethal “white nose” fungus which is killing off much of the bat population in the East will continue its spread westward across the Mississippi River and eventually reach us. With few natural caves, man-made openings make for increased bat habitat. More obvious to the thousands
of summer visitors returning to the old town will be the destruction of structures and other physical remains associated with the processing, assaying and shipping of the ores. Roads and the surface tramway also will be dug up. A three-acre 25-foot-deep repository hole will be filled with waste, capped and replanted. Its location next to the start of private property below the townsite will obliterate the only switchback on the railway grade.
The cost? Approximately $5.7 million. This includes monitoring by the Forest Service and the Washington State Department of Ecology for the next 30 years to ensure that the work was successful enough to meet federal and state standards. Fortunately for taxpayers, this bill will be paid by the last corporation to operate the mines and the Everett smelter where the ores were processed. This was the American Smelting and Refining Company, better known by its initials ASARCO. Unlike earlier owners, their goal was not to make money here but rather to shut everything down and eliminate that competition as they strove to establish a mo-
nopoly over North American gold, silver and copper processing. In turn, ASARCO now is owned by Grupo Mexico, the world’s third largest copper producer. The removal plans for Monte Cristo call for land restoration, an archaeological inventory, and the presence of an archaeologist as the work proceeds. However, there is serious concern among the heritage community as to what will happen to artifacts. Nor is there money allocated for an interpretive plan, repair of Forest Service cabins left unattended for at least three winters and two summers, or actual interpretive signage. Suggestions are made, but they are conditioned by what Teddy Roosevelt called “weasel words.” “Consideration will be given – to the extent possible – where feasible – may implement” rather than will implement, for example, are phrases which raise red flags in a legal document. Another unknown is the future status of the five-mile-long access road once the cleanup is over and both public and private landowners can return. The current gated county route is four miles. Plans to repair its flood damage were put on the back burner when the CONTINUED ON PAGE 15
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Senior Focus February/March, 2013 15
Where to turn …
Have a question? We can help! Elder Info Have a Question? We Have an Answer!
By Cynthia Nowowiejski Senior Services of Snohomish County
A focal point of the hazardous materials cleanup is the site of this 1890s concentrator where ores initially were processed. Photo courtesy of Forrest Johanson
MONTE CRISTO CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14
possibility for constructing a new road away from the river were announced. Will limited motor vehicle access be retained for land owners, volunteer workers, county search and rescue, fire responders and members of the public who currently are able to rent a county key? Will handicapped access be possible if instead the new road is turned into a trail limited to hikers and bicyclists? The road issues will be decided by the Darrington District Ranger some time in the future. A closely related issue yet to be addressed is the probable need for a second clean up project a few miles downstream. Monte Cristo Lake lies some seven miles down the South Fork Sauk River. It is not a separate body of water, just a flat, swampy section where the current slows down and drops its sediments before resuming its swift course down to its junction with the North Fork at Bedal. For 120 years those heavy particles of hazardous materials washed and leached from the mines and concentrator have been settling out along the muddy banks next to the highway where hundreds of people camp and fish every season. Arsenic levels in the sediments tested four times higher than at the townsite, 19 times higher in the surface water. Fortunately people normally do not drink out of rivers! How to tackle
this part of the problem will be interesting. In its brief life as a vibrant mining town, Monte Cristo attracted a variety of individuals. These ranged from millionaires to immigrant workers, school teaching girls on their first job to experienced miners from Cornwall. Horace C. Henry of Seattle built the railroad and went on to found the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington and Firlands Tuberculosis Hospital. His son had died of that disease. Judge Edward Blewett bought and developed a Seattle neighborhood he named for his home town in Nebraska: “Fremont.” Another man, an immigrant German restaurant owner from Pioneer Square named Frederick Trump, gave up serving meals and other delights to his male customers and went into the real estate business selling Monte Cristo lots and mining claims. In 1896 he returned to his home village and came back with a bride. From here he went to the Klondike gold rush, again with a restaurant in mind. This time he moved back east to New York City, again into selling real estate. His grandson resembles his grandmother save for that strange hairdo. Donald Trump needs a better stylist. Will the cleanup leave us a place where we all can go to absorb the spectacular Cascade Mountain scenery and help us tell the stories of the people past and present who lived there and continue to cherish it? That remains to be seen.
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This column has, over the years, featured typical questions from callers to the Senior Information and Assistance Program about a variety of topics. For example, we have answered questions about: Adult day care and respite programs Alzheimer’s disease and dementia Caregiver concerns (obtaining help or support) Employment programs Health organizations (cancer, diabetes, arthritis, parkinson’s, etc.) Health services and clinics Hospice and palliative care Housing In-home assistance (home care) Legal issues (finding an attorney, power of attorney, guardianship, elder law attorneys) Lifeline and personal emer-
gency response systems Long term care facilities (retirement/assisted living communities, adult family homes, skilled nursing facilities) Nutrition (meal programs, food assistance) Medical concerns (finding a physician, talking to your doctor) Multicultural services Mental health (depression screening, counseling) Senior centers (activities, services) Support groups (locating a support group) Transportation Veterans program Volunteer programs If you have a question or concern, we want to hear from you! Call our office at 425-513-1900 or 800-422-2024; send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.; or send a letter to Senior I&A, 11627 Airport Rd., Suite B, Everett 98204-8714. Senior Information and Assistance is the gateway to access services for older adults in Snohomish County. To speak with an I&A Specialist who will listen to your concerns, answer questions and explore options, phone 425-513-1900 or 800-422-2024.
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16 February/March, 2013 Senior Focus help over the phone by calling the IRS helpline at 800-829-1040.
Dear Savvy Senior …
2012 tax filing requirements You are single and your 2012 gross income was less than $9,750 ($11,200 if you’re 65 or older). You are married filing jointly and your gross income was under $19,500. If you or your spouse is 65 or older, the limit increases to $20,650. And if you’re both over 65, your income must be under $21,800 to not file. You are head of household and your gross income was below $12,500 ($13,950 if age 65 or older). You are married filing separately and your income was less than $3,800. You are a qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child and your gross income was less than $15,700 ($16,850 if age 65 or older).
By Jim Miller
My income dropped way off when I retired early last year and I’m wondering if I fall into the so called “47 percent” of Americans who won’t have to pay any income taxes for 2012. What can you tell me? Curious Senior Dear Curious, The percentage of seniors, age 65 and older, who won’t have to pay income taxes this year is actually around 56 percent according the Tax Policy Center. Here’s a breakdown of the 2012 filing requirements along with a few other tax tips to help you determine if you need to file. IRS requirements
Whether or not you’ll need to file a federal income tax return this year will depend on your filing status, your age, and your gross income. If your gross income falls below the IRS filing limits, you probably won’t have to file. Gross income includes all the income you receive that is not exempt from tax, not including Social Security benefits, unless you are married and filing separately. You probably don’t have to file this year if:
Special situations Be aware that there are some special financial situations that require you to file a tax return, even if your gross income falls below the IRS filing requirement. For example, if you had net earn-
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ings from self-employment in 2012 of $400 or more, or if you owe any special taxes to the IRS such as alternative minimum tax or IRA tax penalties, you’ll probably need to file. To figure this out, the IRS offers a resource on their website called Do I Need to File a Tax Return? that asks a series of questions which will help you determine if you’re required to file or if you should file because you’re due a refund. You can access this page at irs.gov; search for Do I need to file a tax return, or you can get
UnitedWayoffers free tax preparation sites United Way of Snohomish County has opened six free tax preparation sites throughout Snohomish County – Everett, Lynnwood, Marysville and Monroe – to help working families and seniors prepare their tax returns. Last year, 2,511 families had their taxes prepared at a United Way tax preparation site, saving an estimated $414,315 in tax preparation fees. The average refund was $1,700 which amounted to nearly $4.28 million in refunds (including $1.25 million in Earned Income Tax Credits). The sites will be open through April 15 and will be staffed by volunteer tax preparers. An appointment is not required The service is available for households earn-
Tax aide If you do need to file a tax return this year, you can get help through the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (or TCE) program. Sponsored by the IRS, TCE provides free tax preparation and counseling to middle and low income taxpayers, age 60 and older. Call 800-906-9887 to locate a service near you. If you live in Snohomish County, you can also contact Senior Services Information and Assistance at 425-513-1900 or 800-4222024 for help locating a tax preparation service. In addition, United Way of Snohomish County offers free tax preparation sites. See article on page 17. Also check with AARP, a participant in the TCE program that provides free tax preparation at nearly 6,000 sites nationwide. To locate a site call 888-227-7669 or visit aarp.org/findtaxhelp. Send your senior questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior book.
ing $51,000 or less. Over the past six years, United Way volunteers have prepared 9,181 tax returns worth more than $15 million in refunds for Snohomish County working families. Locations include: Lynnwood Cedar Valley Community School, 19200 56th Ave. W. Tuesdays, Wednesdays* and Thursdays, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Everett Goodwill’s Job Training and Education Center, 228 S.W. Everett Mall Way. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. North Middle School, 2514 Rainier Ave. Tuesdays, Wednesdays* and Thursdays, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. South Everett Foursquare CONTINUED ON PAGE 17
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Senior Focus February/March, 2013 17
Clarity helps handle cancer By James Gaffney Dealing with cancer is difficult for everyone involved: the patient as well as his or her family and friends. As people live longer and face greater chances of developing the disease, it pays to understand the risks and benefits of treatment. “People are making life-anddeath decisions that may affect their survival and they need to
What you shouldbring No matter where you have your taxes completed, plan to bring the following documentation. Photo identification. Social security card or tax identification number and birth date for everyone on the return. All-tax related forms received such as W2s or other income statements, Social Security SSA-1099 form, Railroad Retirement form RB-1099, and other 1099 forms (dividends, interest, MSA or HSA distributions, broker or barter exchanges, etc.). Documentation relating to any tax adjustments or credits you may be entitled to such as tuition statements, child and dependent care expenses, real estate taxes, car excise tax, mortgage interest, expenses for energy-efficient home improvements, and yearend statement from investment accounts. Last year’s tax return. Bank account number to receive your refund via direct deposit. If filing jointly, both spouses must be present to file electronically.
UW TAX SITES CONTINUED FROM PAGE 16
Church/Children’s Village, 14 E. Casino Rd., Suite D. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Marysville Goodwill’s Job Training and Education Center, 9315 State Ave. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monroe Park Place Middle School, 1408 W. Main St. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, please visit uwsc.org; search for tax preparation sites or call 2-1-1 for information and referrals. * Wednesday sites are open through February 27. Sponsors and partners of the tax aide sites include the Boeing Company, Washington State Department of Commerce, Moss Adams, LLP, Goodwill, Walmart Foundation, and the Internal Revenue Service.
know what they’re getting themselves into,” said Dr. Angela Fagerlin, a University of Michigan Medical School internal-medicine associate professor and U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center researcher. “Cancer treatments and tests can be serious. Patients need to know what kind of side effects they might experience as a result of the treatment they undergo.” She outlined 10 things healthcare professionals can do to improve the way they communicate information about treatment risks. Patients can tap into these same practices to become fluent in the language of cancer care and better understand their options. Insist on plain language. If you don’t understand something your doctor says, ask him or her to explain it better. “Doctors don’t know when patients don’t understand them. They want patients to stop them and ask questions,” said Fagerlin. Focus on the absolute risk. The most important statistic to consider is the chance that something will happen to you. “It’s important that patients and doctors know how to communicate these numbers, and patients need to have the courage to ask their doctor to present it so they can understand,” she said. Visualize your risk. Instead of just thinking about numbers, try drawing 100 boxes and color-
ing in one box for each percentage point of risk. So, if your risk of a side effect is 10 percent, you would color in 10 boxes. This kind of visual representation, called a pictograph, can help you understand the meaning behind the numbers. Consider risk as a frequency rather than as a percentage. What does it mean to say 60 percent of men who have a radical prostatectomy will experience impotence? Imagine a roomful of 100 people: 60 of them will have this side effect and 40 will not. Thinking of risk in terms of groups of people can help make statistics easier to understand. Focus on the additional risk. You may be told the risk of a certain side effect occurring is seven percent. But if you didn’t take the drug, is there a chance you’d still experience that? Ask what the additional or incremental risk of a treatment is. “You want to make sure the risk number you’re being presented is the risk due to the treatment and not a risk you would face no matter what,” Fagerlin said. The order of information matters. Studies have shown that the last thing you hear is most likely to stick. When making a treatment decision, don’t forget to consider all of the information and statistics you’ve learned.
Write it down. You may be presented with a lot of information. At the end of the discussion, ask your doctor if a written summary of the risks and benefits is available. Or ask your doctor to help you summarize all the information in writing. Don’t get hung up on averages. Some studies have revealed that learning the average risk of a disease does not help patients make good decisions about what’s best for them. Your risk is what matters, not anyone else’s. Focus on the information that applies specifically to you. Less may be more. Don’t get overwhelmed by too much information. In some cases, there may be many different treatment options but only a few may be relevant to you. Ask your doctor to narrow it down and discuss with you only the options and facts most relevant for you. Consider your risk over time. Your risk may change with time. “What seems like a small risk over the next year or two may look a lot larger when considered over your lifetime,” said study author Dr. Brian Zikmund-Fisher, U-M School of Public Health health behavior and health education assistant professor. If you’re told the five-year risk of your cancer returning after a certain treatment, ask what the 10-year or 20-year risk is. In some cases, this data might not be available, but always be aware of the time frame involved. – Mature Life Features©
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After my spinal cord injury, I nearly gave up kayaking even though I could still use my arms. My husband, Bob, and I used to go so frequently that we planned our work schedules around the tides. We even bought wet suits so we could go all year long. (Though I have to add that in my wet suit, I look like the Michelin Tire Man with breasts.) Although I tried several years ago, I’ve been afraid to try again. But recently I forced myself. We took our two-person kayak to a launch near our home on Cape Cod. On the shore, with the kayak in the water, Bob held it steady while I tried to get in. I have no balance and my legs don’t work well. I was using my cane, but each time I put one foot in the boat, I started to fall. Finally I said, “I can’t do this.” Although I’ve never been a believer in angels, at that very moment I met my first two: Carol and Barbara. As if she knew all about me, from my physical disabilities to my self-imposed emotional ones, Carol came right over and put her arms around my waist while Barbara said, “Don’t give up. You can do it.”
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“Put your foot here,” Carol said, guiding my left foot into the boat. Although my arms were shaking fiercely from grasping the sides of the kayak, that did not discourage these wondrous women. Literally come hell or high water, they were determined to get me into that boat. When I finally made it, I raised my paddle with both arms and shouted my victory cry: “YAY!” When Bob and I headed Saralee Perel relaxes after returning from a kayonward to the beautiful aking trip sea, I turned around to thank my angels. But they were Till I found the truth. gone, never to be seen by me again. And I owe it all to you. I am writing this story in honor To Bob, Barbara and Carol, and of Bob’s birthday. He’s of an age to all the helping hands in my life: when it’s time for me to empha- I couldn’t have made so many lifesize what matters the most. But affirming changes without you. I shouldn’t wait for a specific day And so, kayaking was frightto express myself, not only to my ening but vital for me to do. For husband but to all my lifelines, your moments of deepest fears, most of whom don’t even know I bet Barbara and Carol will be they hold that place in my heart. there in spirit behind you. I hope And many of whom are hopefully you’ll hear the echo of their words: reading this story. “Don’t give up. You can do it.” We’ve always listened to record- I did. ings of our favorite songs while we Happy Birthday, Bob. kayaked. On that glorious day on Cape Cod Bay, my gratitude was Saralee Perel’s new book is Cracked expressed in a song from “Dirty Nuts & Sentimental Journeys: StoDancing.” ries From a Life Out of Balance. She Now I’ve had the time of my life. welcomes e-mails at firstname.lastname@example.org and friends on Facebook. And I’ve searched through every Visit her at saraleeperel.com. open door.
Comfort foodtolower stress Keeping stress levels in check is an important tool for overall health and wellness. Several studies have shown that people who are constantly stressed are also more vulnerable to everything from colds to heart disease. Bernadette Latson, a registered dietitian and clinical nutritionist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, said the best way to address stress is to take a brief walk or stretch-break. Incorporating stress-fighting foods into your daily diet can also help, she said.
“A bowl of warm oatmeal will boost a calming brain chemical known as serotonin, while foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids will help keep the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline in check.” Other stress-fighting foods she suggests are a glass of skim or low-fat milk before bed to help reduce tension and anxiety, and oranges, rich in vitamin C, to strengthen the immune system and reduce stress-hormone levels. – MLF Senior Information and Assistance Answers Questions – Explores Options
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Senior Focus February/March, 2013 19
When you’re sandwiched in the middle
Cell phone recycling
Seven tips for better life balance
Domestic Violence Services is recycling cell phones which, even without service, can call 911 when charged. Some phones may be given to victims of domestic violence to keep them safe. Older phones or those that are broken, missing chargers, etc. can be sent to recyclers that will pay
By Cassandra Oshinnaiye According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 20 million Americans (one out of eight baby boomers) are juggling taking care of an older parent while raising or supporting a child. In Washington State some 854,000 family caregivers make tremendous sacrifices at home and in their careers to care for a loved one. Although the role of caregiver has many rewards, it can often be stressful. In a 2009 study, the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP found that the average family member caring for an older relative spent almost 20 hours a week helping with such things as meal preparation, transportation and recordkeeping. Despite the challenges, most family caregivers want to support their older loved ones and find a balance with work and family life that is both fulfilling and productive. If you’re struggling to balance it all, here are seven tips to help: Ease up on your expectations. This isn’t easy. Recognize you are human and you are doing the best you can. Take time to breathe. Make a plan. Most families don’t think about how they will manage caring for older parents until a crisis occurs. Start the conversation early. Be sure you know how they want their medical care and finances managed if they are unable to manage them on their own. Review their important documents with them. Include your children. From keeping grandparents company to mowing the lawn, kids of all ages can provide emotional or practical support if the situation is right. They will also learn important lessons in patience and what it means to be a family. Seek help. Don’t wait for people to offer help and don’t assume they know what type of help to offer. Reach out to your network of family members and friends and let them know you could use a hand with some specific tasks.
Know your options. There are professionals and community services that provide caregivers with information, resources and respite (a break from caring). Check out workplace support. Find out if your workplace offers assistance to working caregivers. Ask about company policies on flexible work schedules and family medical leave. Prioritize your own health and wellbeing. Tend to your own needs for exercise, sleep and healthy eating. Find ways to reduce the stress – whether it’s taking in a movie, walking with a friend or taking a long bath. Consider joining a support group or finding someone that you can talk with about your experiences. Life is a balancing act. Having the right information and support from others will help you find a little more equilibrium. You can gain valuable information to help both you and your loved one at aarp.org/caregiving.
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from 50 cents to $20 per phone. Money received from recycling is used to fund programs offered free of charge to victims of domestic violence and their children. Phones may be dropped off at the New and Again Thrift Shoppe, 3116 Rucker Ave., Everett. Other locations can be found by visiting dvs-snoco.org or calling Stephanie Civey at 425-259-2827 ext. 13.
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20 February/March, 2013 Senior Focus
Take control of your health! Meal Times All the Nutrition News You Can Use
By Barb Thomas Senior Services of Snohomish County
Senior Services will offer Living Well with Chronic Conditions Workshops throughout Snohomish County! These workshops, developed by Stanford University’s Patient Education Department, are designed to help individuals who have chronic health conditions (such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, pain, arthritis, and hypertension) improve the quality of their lives. Participants learn how to develop healthy eating habits, exercise safely, reduce stress and frustration, manage symptoms, set weekly goals, problem-solve effectively, improve communication, relax, and handle difficult emotions. Stanford’s Living Well with Chronic Conditions workshop is a 2-1/2 hour class offered once a week for six weeks. Participants include people with various chronic health problems. The workshops are facilitated by two trained leaders who are living with chronic conditions themselves. Classes are highly interactive, where peer support and goal setting help participants Barb Thomas is a Nutrition Assessor with Senior Services Nutrition Program. For information about Senior Nutrition, call 425-347-1229 or 800824-2183.
build confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives. The weekly sessions cover topics such as: Differences between acute and chronic conditions and strategies for managing symptoms. Dealing with difficult emotions, positive thinking, communication and problem-solving skills. Pain and fatigue management, breathing exercises, guided imagery and muscle relaxation techniques. Healthy eating and physical and endurance activities. Managing medications, making informed treatment decisions and depression management. The program will not conflict with other programs or medical treatment. It is designed to enhance regular treatment and disease-specific education such as cardiac rehabilitation or diabetes instruction. In addition, many people have more than one chronic condition. The program is especially helpful for these people, as it gives them the skills to coordinate all the things needed to manage their health, as well as to help them keep active in their lives. What are the benefits? Studies show that individuals who participated in this program, when compared to those who did not, demonstrated significant improvements in exercise, cognitive symptom management, communication with physicians, selfreported general health, fatigue, disability, and social/role activity limitations. They also spent few-
FEBRUARY MENU Thurs: Valentine’s Day. Spinach salad w/walnuts & raspberry vinaigrette, Fri: Beet salad, dijon chicken, orzo cranberry chicken, rice pilaf, fresh w/peas, peach crisp. roasted vegetables, dessert. Fri: Tossed salad, cheese pizza w/ FEBRUARY 4 – 8 vegetables, fresh fruit, pudding. Mon: Tossed salad, swedish meatballs on noodles, peas & carrots, fruit FEBRUARY 18 – 22 cocktail. Mon: Closed for Presidents’ Day. Tues: Dilled cucumber salad, lemon Tues: Fruit salad, chicken parmesan pepper pollock, baked potato, stewed on spaghetti w/sauce, broccoli, garlic tomatoes, pineapple. bread stick, sherbet. Weds: Spinach salad, grilled turkey Weds: Tossed salad, beef stew w/vegw/cheese sandwich, chips, fresh fruit. etables, fresh fruit. Thurs: Tossed salad, baked chicken Thurs: Vegetable soup, hot seafood thigh w/gravy, roasted sweet potato, sandwich, fresh vegetables w/dip, succotash, pears. pears. Fri: Chinese New Year. Asian slaw, Fri: Tossed salad, meatloaf, mashed mandarin chicken w/stir fry vegeta- potato w/gravy, green beans, fresh bles, barley rice, fresh orange, fortune fruit. cookie.
FEBRUARY 11 – 15 Mon: Tossed salad, salisbury steak, mashed potato w/gravy, dilled carrots, fresh fruit.. Tues: Cranberry juice, french toast casserole, sweet potato, turkey sausage, fruit cup. Weds: Tossed salad, hearty lentil soup w/rustic bread, apricots, brownie.
FEBRUARY 25 – 28
Mon: Coleslaw, salmon burger on wheat bun w/lettuce & tomato, fiesta salad, apricots. Tues: Tossed salad, lasagna, vegetable, applesauce. Weds: Chef’s Choice Thurs: Taco salad w/beef, cheese & rancho beans on chips w/salsa & sour cream, mandarin oranges, flan.
er days in the hospital, and had fewer outpatient visits. Many of these results continue for as long as three years. To learn more about the Washington State Living Well with Chronic Conditions program visit livingwell.doh.wa.gov. Also see article on page 21.
Healthy eating This salad has great flavor and texture, and is an excellent source of protein, fiber, iron and potassium. This salad is substantial enough to enjoy as a meal (497 calories), or choose a smaller portion and eat as a side salad.
Broccoli and Chickpeas Salad 4 cups broccoli florets 1 15 oz. canned chickpeas 5 scallions, sliced 1/2 cup fresh parsley 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted Dressing
The following workshops are scheduled for early 2013. Each class meets once a week for six weeks. The workshops are FREE and participants will be provided with the book Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions at no cost. Family members, friends and caregivers can also participate. Space is limited and registration is required. Snohomish Senior Center, Mondays, February 25 through April 1, 9:30 a.m.-12 noon. YMCA (Mill Creek), Mondays, March 4 through April 8, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. You do not have to be a member of the YMCA to attend this workshop. East County Senior Center (Monroe), Tuesdays, April 16 through May 21, 12:30-3 p.m. YMCA (Mill Creek), Thursdays, July 11 through August 15, 6-8:30 p.m. You do not have to be a member of the YMCA to attend this workshop. If interested in attending a workshop, hosting a workshop, or
1 garlic clove, minced 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon honey 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest 1/4 cup lemon juice 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste Steam broccoli until just tender, 5-7 minutes. Once cool, chop broccoli and combine with drained and rinsed chickpeas, scallions, parsley and toasted pine nuts. In a bowl, combine minced garlic clove, Dijon mustard, honey, lemon zest and lemon juice. Slowly add extra-virgin olive oil while whisking. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle broccoli mixture with dressing. Refrigerate salad in airtight container for up to two days. Makes four servings. Nutrition Information: 497 calories; 31 grams of fat; 46 grams of carbohydrates; 14 grams of protein, 13 grams of fiber. Courtesy of Whole Living Jan/Feb 2013
for more information, call Barb Thomas at 425-265-2283. Visit sssc.org to watch for future workshops.
MARCH MENU MARCH 1
MARCH 18 – 22
Fri: Tossed salad, chicken ala king on Mon: Tossed salad, swedish meatballs on noodles, peas & carrots, fruit baked potato, beets, fresh fruit. cocktail. MARCH 4 – 8 Tues: Dilled cucumber salad, lemon Mon: Potato salad, hamburger on pepper pollock, baked potato, stewed wheat bun w/lettuce & tomato, baked tomatoes, pineapple. Weds: Spinach salad, grilled turkey beans, tropical fruit. Tues: Pea salad, chicken primavera w/cheese sandwich, chips, fresh fruit. Thurs: Tossed salad, baked chicken on penne, vegetable, applesauce. Weds: Cucumber salad, baked fish, thigh w/gravy, roasted sweet potato, succotash, pears. winter squash, spinach, mixed fruit. Thurs: Asian slaw, sweet & sour Fri: Tossed salad, salisbury steak, chicken w/stir fry vegetables, brown mashed potato w/gravy, dilled carrots, fresh fruit. rice, fresh seasonal fruit.
Fri: Pork roast w/sweet & sour red cabbage, stuffing, green peas, fruited MARCH 25 – 29 gelatin. Mon: Coleslaw vinaigrette, chicken skewer w/peanut sauce, barley rice, MARCH 11 – 15 vegetable, mandarin oranges. Mon: Tossed salad, chicken chili w/ Tues: Cranberry juice, french toast green onion & shredded cheese, torti- casserole, sweet potato, turkey saulla chips, pineapple, pudding. sage, fruit cup. Tues: Carrot salad, french dip, sweet Weds: Tossed salad, hearty lentil soup potato fries, fresh seasonal fruit. w/rustic bread, apricots, brownie. Weds: Tossed salad, macaroni & Thurs: Broccoli salad, turkey pot cheese, green beans, fresh fruit. roast, mashed potato w/gravy, carrots, Thurs: Beet salad, dijon chicken, peaches. orzo w/peas, fruit crisp. Fri: Tossed salad, baked ham w/raisin Fri: St. Patrick’s Day. Corned beef sauce, sweet potato casserole, fresh & cabbage, red potatoes, carrots, rye roasted zucchini, Easter dessert. bread, apple duff.
Senior Focus February/March, 2013 21
Start the new year with volunteering! Volunteer Connections John McAlpine RSVP Program Recruiter
RSVP exists to help volunteers 55+ find fulfillment in their volunteer work. We will match your lifetime of skills and experience to the organization of your choice. If the jobs listed are not close to where you live, call me. Maybe I can find the perfect opportunity for you. There is something to do in every city in the county. Sponsored by Catholic Community Services, RSVP is America’s largest volunteer network for persons over 55 and the only agency where the collective contribution of the senior volunteer is recorded. Each month, I focus on one of our volunteers or community partners to bring you a bit more news and information about them. This month, the RSVP spotlight shines on food banks. There are many in the county that can use your help. Here are just a few opportunities. They need people
Grant allows for expansion of LivingWell program Senior Services was fortunate to receive a grant from the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF). The PPHF, a key part of the Affordable Care Act (also referred to as ObamaCare), will allow Senior Services to continue providing the Living Well with Chronic Conditions program and expand it throughout Snohomish County. Nationally, the PPHF will be used to address factors that influence the health of people living with chronic health conditions such as housing, education, transportation, and access to quality and affordable food. By concentrating on these areas, the Affordable Care Act helps move the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on wellness and prevention. The Affordable Care Act will provide the resources states and communities need to promote healthy living by addressing early disease detection, prevention and management. Some initiatives include a focus on preventative health services, reducing healthcare costs, behavioral health screening, chronic disease prevention, tobacco prevention, obesity prevention and fitness.
Senior Information and Assistance Answers Questions – Explores Options
such as grocery stores.
who can pick up canned goods from grocery stores; lift, carry and move large bulk foods; separate and sort cans; assist with produce (when available); register and check in clients; and so much more. Call me today and get involved in helping people get enough to eat. This column lists only a few of the hundreds of opportunities available through RSVP in Snohomish County.
Concern for Neighbors Food Bank – This Mountlake Terrace food bank serves the community and can use help with pick up and drop off of food from local grocery stores. You should be able to lift and carry at least 30 pounds. Red Barn Community Farm – The RBCF, a coalition effort of several community groups and agencies, seeks volunteers who
VOA Food Bank – Located in Everett on Broadway and 13th, the VOA food bank serves as the hub for the Food Bank Coalition in Snohomish County. They need help with delivery to homebound clients and can use people to sort and bag bulk foods.
want some fresh air, exercise and the satisfaction of being part of the solution to the problem of hunger through their efforts. The RBCF supports the VOA and other food banks by providing fresh, organic produce. There is always something that needs doing. If you have questions about RSVP, volunteering or any of the agencies you see listed, contact John McAlpine at 425-374-6374 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. RSVP, a program of Catholic Community Services, is located 1918 Everett Ave., Everett.
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Snohomish Food Bank – Located on Ferguson Park Rd., the Snohomish Community Food Bank operates using more than 100 volunteers. They’d like you to join them especially with the pick up of food from local supporters
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22 February/March, 2013 Senior Focus
Where are They Now?
Jayne Meadows By Marshall J Kaplan The other half of one of television’s pioneers and sister to one of television’s most memorable housewives is in her 90s, still as glamorous as ever and still loves the spotlight. Jayne Meadows was born on September 27, 1920 in Wu-chang, Heilongjiang, China. Her parents were missionaries – her father being a reverend. Meadows was one of four children. In the early 1930s, her family returned to the United States. Meadows had to learn English as she only spoke Chinese and other foreign languages. Being so fluent in languages, Meadows was not shy and developed the acting bug. By her early teens, Meadows began getting small roles on the New York stage. By the time she was 18, she appeared in seven Broadway shows, establishing herself as a fine comedienne. Hollywood came calling. In 1941, Meadows was under contract. The studio, however, did Senior Information and Assistance Answers Questions – Explores Options
not see her as a comedienne. They saw her as a dramatic actress and, in turn, she was cast in such films as Undercurrent (1946 with Katharine Hepburn, Robert Taylor and Robert Mitchum), Song of the Thin Man (1947 with William Powell and Myrna Loy), David and Bathsheba (1951 with Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward), and The Lady in the Lake (1947 with Robert Montgomery). As Meadows’ film career began to fizzle in the late 1940s and early 1950s, she began appearing on television, where she met, fell in love with, and married television pioneer and legend, Steve Allen. The two were TV royalty, performing together on numerous shows. What was their partnership like? Says Meadows, “Steve was very quiet, even shy. I was the gregarious one. We were not equally talented. Steve was the one who was enormously talented!”
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The couple remained married until Allen’s death in 2000. Coincidentally, her younger sister, Audrey Meadows, was also television royalty – as Alice Kramden, opposite Jackie Gleason’s Ralph Kramden on the legendary sitcom, The Honeymooners. Besides her small screen partnership with Allen, Meadows made a name for herself as a regular panelist on top game shows of the day including I’ve Got A Secret and What’s My Line?. Although her husband is a TV legend, Meadows’ career is just as strong – appearing regularly as a
guest on TV shows and moviesof-the-week up to the mid-1990s – gaining a total of five Emmy nominations. She is also an author – writing books and newspaper columns. Her joy of life has been infectious. She resides in Encino, California in the same home that she and Allen shared. Meadows is still glamorous and can be seen attending festivals and galas. Speaking of I’ve Got A Secret, is there any secret to life? “There is only one secret. Love what you are doing,” she says.
Science fiction …
What the future may bring The BookNook
ties and dangers. There is danger also for anyone who befriends him.
Settle In and Enjoy
Stranger from a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
By Bonnie Gerken Imagination is a wonderful thing. All fiction writers use their imagination to create a world with their stories and science fiction writers go a step further to create a future world. Fantasy fiction is not possible, but science fiction could become reality if we’re not careful. I must admit that science fiction is not my first choice in reading, but sometimes I like to try something new to stretch my mind. If you would like to join me, we can start with the pioneers of the genre – Mary Shelley (17971851), Jules Verne (1828-1905), and H.G. Wells (1866-1946). Or, give some of the masters from the ’50s and ’60s – Ben Bova, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Ursula LeGuin, and Andre Norton – a try. If you prefer some humor in your reading, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series and Connie Willis’ books have a dry wit that can be laughout-loud funny. Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin
Genly Ai arrives alone on Gethen, a planet of ice and snow, to invite the inhabitants to join the 83 habitable planets in the Ekumen trading union. For the Envoy, learning the culture of this alien and unique world has its difficul-
Valentine Michael Smith, a human raised by Martians, is brought to Earth and becomes the center of a new religious movement. The book is an award winner, best seller, and a classic must-read. If you’ve ever wondered where the hippie philosophy came from, look no further. Reader alert: language, sex Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Along with 100 others, Amy and her parents are cryogenically frozen for the 300-year journey to the planet that they will colonize. When Amy is thawed early, she must adapt to life aboard the giant spaceship Godspeed and to a crew that has created a new society after being isolated in space for many generations. The Coming of the Terraphiles by Michael Moorcock
For all you anglophiles and BBC fans, Dr. Who has a new adventure. Being the last of the Time Lords, the Doctor travels through time and space to save the multiverse from gravity gone awry, pirates, and antimatter by joining a team vying for the Silver Arrow of Artemis at the Terraphile ReEnactment Tournament. For lots more suggestions, explore the Novelist Plus database on your public library’s webpage by doing a subject search for “science fiction.”
Senior Focus February/March, 2013 23
Calling All Heroes …
Alittle somethingmeans‘everything‘ toshelter animals Pet Tails… The ‘Paws-itive’ Approach
By Laura J. Boro, CHES If you can sew, take walks or just scratch a dog behind the ear, you can become an angel in the lives of shelter animals. Whew… the holidays are over! As we turn the corner into a bright new year, here’s a suggestion that will warm your heart and make a difference in the world. This year, why not resolve to reach out and bring a little joy to the lives of our furry friends at the animal shelter? Consider this. Every year, millions of wonderful family pets end up, through no fault of their own, at a local shelter or rescue facility. Typically the pet’s owner has died, or become ill, gone through a divorce, or lost his/her job. Whatever the reason, a bewildered dog or cat suddenly finds itself alone in a cage at the shelter. In my work as a dog trainer, I am often asked to calm panicstricken rescue or shelter dogs and to help them get settled again in loving homes. I have seen the sense of fear, confusion and loss that shelter animals experience when they first find themselves locked up in a place so terribly foreign to them – and not understanding the reasons why. But I have also seen what hapSenior Information and Assistance Answers Questions – Explores Options
pens when a caring senior volun- a bit of cotton, if needed, and take teer shows up with a little bag of to the kitties at the shelter to help dog treats or a comfy new hand- break up the monotony of their sewn cat bed. Yes, shelter dogs days. and cats really DO recognize the smiling faces of loving volunteers at their cages. They not only recognize you, they show their love and appreciation in the most touching and heart-warming ways. While we can’t always open our own homes to a There are a variety of volunteer opportunities at animal shelter dog or cat, shelters and rescue organizations. Here a volunteer gives we can all do some- some love and attention to a kitten as he waits for a famthing to ease the ily to adopt him. time they spend in shelters and rescues. For dogs, think toys, treats or walks Here are some simple ways you Most shelters discourage dog can make a huge difference this beds because dogs in “custody” year: will often shred the beds out of boredom. But there are other For cats, think cat beds or toys Cats love a soft, cozy place to things you can do! lie, especially in a shelter. Com- The next time you celebrate fy cat beds are fast and easy to a birthday or other occasion, for make. Simply lay out a piece of example, ask your guests to each soft fleece material, add a layer bring a dog toy or yummy treat for or two of batting, secure the edges the shelter. All sizes, shapes and with several rows of stitching and flavors are usually welcome, but a couple rows across the center, you can check first with your loand you’re done! You can get together with friends and have a fun “cat bed sewing party” complete with snacks and beverages. Invite your grandkids to join you and deliver the finished cat beds to the shelter. P.S. Do you crochet? If so, you can crochet balls, squares, little mice or whatever, stuff them with
cal shelter or rescue to see if they have special needs or preferences. But we all know the most precious gift you can give to a lonely animal is your time and your love. Make a resolution to give weekly comfort and attention to an animal in a shelter or rescue. Volunteer as a dog walker at the shelter (great exercise and doesn’t cost a thing!), or just sit with a cat and play, pet or cuddle. Remember, when an animal has nothing, a little something means EVERYTHING. Written in loving memory of Cocoa. Laura Boro, CHES, is owner/trainer of Good Dog Walkin’.
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24 February/March, 2013 Senior Focus
Unsquish Interner Explorer tabs Ask Mr. Modem Helpful Advice for Computer Users
By Richard Sherman
I’m using IE 9, though I don’t care for it that much. When I open tabs for various websites, all the open tabs are squished together next to the address bar. Is there some way I can make room for the tabs to expand?
Right-click in the area where your tabs normally open and place a check next to “Show tabs on a separate row.” Once you do this, all your tabs will open in the expansive space available under the address bar. If IE 9 is wearing a bit thin on you, you might want to consider Google Chrome (google.com/ chrome) or Firefox (mozilla.com/ firefox). Both are excellent browsers and worthy of consideration.
I would like to download Microsoft Security Essentials, but I already use Norton, provided free by Comcast. Will this be a problem?
Not for me and not for Comcast, but it could be a problem for your computer. I would not use both. If you’re happy with Norton, stick
with it. If at some point it no longer brings joy to your life, that would be a good time to make the change. If you try to use both, there is a good chance each program will detect the various bits of embedded virus code in the other, so each program will think the other program is a virus. That can lead to false positive and false negative reports, which is not good. Very few anti-virus programs work well with other anti-virus programs so it’s best to let one protection rule the roost. Anti-spyware programs are better at socializing, so you can have multiple anti-spyware programs installed on the same system without any problem.
Is there some way I can show more items on my start menu than currently appear? It seems like the icons for each program are taking up most of the room. Can I make the icons smaller? To shrink start menu icons in Vista and Windows 7, right-click a blank area of your taskbar and select Properties. Select the Start Menu tab from the window that appears and click the Customize button. Scroll down to the bottom and remove the check mark beside “Use Large Icons,” then click OK > OK.
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Using Windows Live Mail, how do I permanently make my font larger?
Click Tools > Options. (You may have to hold down the ALT key to display the Menu bar.) Go to the Compose tab and under Compose Font, click the Font Settings button next to Mail. Choose the desired font size, style and color. Click OK to save your selections. If you change your default to a larger font, but you can still barely see what you are typing, your
Mr. M’s DME (Don‘t Miss ’Em …) Sites of the Month Ask Philosophers This site bridges the gap between intellectuals and knuckledragging, monosyllabic, mouthbreathers like myself. Profound, headache-inducing topics are discussed among visitors and a panel of esteemed philosophers. You are invited to submit your own philosophical query or browse the list of categories that includes everything from Art to Consciousness, to Truth, Justice and The American Way. The site’s “Question of the Day” as I write this is, “What is nominalism?” I would have enjoyed participating in the discussion, but I was afraid my head was going to explode. Perhaps another time. askphilosophers.org Cameratown If you like to take pictures, Cameratown will teach you everything you want and need to know about digital photography, plus provide news, forums, tutorials, articles, access to camera manuals and even software updates. cameratown.com Rock, Paper, Scissors The New York Times created this application that demonstrates the concept of artificial intelligence by inviting you to play rock, paper, scissors against a computer. In the novice version, you will teach the computer
reading font settings may be the culprit. Check the main Windows Live Mail screen under View > Text Size and adjust them accordingly.
I have been on Facebook for three years and I’m a little embarrassed to ask this question, but how do I invite someone to become my friend?
Log into your Facebook account, then choose “Invite Friends” from the Friends menu at the top of the page. You will have to provide some information at that point, but just follow what appears on screen and you shouldn’t have any problem.
how to mimic human reactions by building up a database of moves that it will analyze statistically to plan its strategy to beat you. It requires a minimum of five games for the computer to start predicting what you will do. If you choose to play the veteran version, the computer will draw from a database of 200,000 moves in its efforts to defeat you. Trust me: It will defeat you. http://nyti.ms/bn8zB6 For more information about Mr. Modem’s technology-tips eBooks and award-winning weekly computerhelp newsletter, featuring his personal answers to your questions by e-mail, visit MrModem.com.
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